Money Tips For Teens: Why You Should Manage Your Money and Learn More About Finances

According to a recent study, a majority of American teens don’t know basic life skills, and this includes managing money. The research reveals that 87% of teens admit that theydon’t know much about personal finance, and while they do want to learn, they don’t have the tools that they need to know more about the matter. Our parents or guardians are our best resources for financial knowledge, and it’s never too early to learn how to be financially savvy. Apart from having enough money in the bank, learning how to keep our finances in order can benefit us in other ways. Here are all the reasons why you should learn how to manage your money and learn more about finances.

Having a good financial record can help you qualify for a loan

Most teenagers may take on side jobs or borrow money from their parents if they need extra money. However, having a good financial record qualifies you to get a loan and enables you to have the funds that you need for tuition fees, your first car purchase, or a startup for a small business. Asseen in this Finnish example, 18-year-olds can loan as much as 2,000 Euros or about $2,300. In the US, you will need to have a good credit score, an income, and acollateral such as a houseor a car before you can get approved for most loans.

It allows you to be more independent

Having a savings account and a good financial record allows you to be more independent. You can purchase items or experiences, such as a vacation, on your own, and you don’t need to rely on anyone to fund your needs.Having basic financial skillssuch as balancing a checkbook, investing, and managing your credit card can all lead to the road to independence.

You learn to prioritize and make good financial choices

Learning how to manage your money while you’re still young enables you to prioritize your spending. Knowing the basics of money management, such as making a budget, already puts you ahead of most college students as studies have shown that around40% of the typical college student’s budgetgoes to purchases like clothes, entertainment, snacks, and gadgets. This is why most students find that they’ve gone through most of their budget even before the semester is over. But having a budget in mind is the step in the right direction as you get to prioritize your main expenses first and still have some money left over for savings and incidentals.

Being on top of your budget, having discipline, and brushing up on your life skills and financial know-how can all help to give you more security in the future. Learn as much as you can about your managing your money while you’re young, and set yourself up for financial success.

6 Basic Ways Teens Can Benefit from Spending Time with Seniors

Talking to older adults is intimidating. They have been through so much and have a vastly different worldview from you. Yet, there are so many benefits that teens can experience when they spend time with elderly relatives, neighbors, or residents at a local senior care facility. Here are a few of these benefits and how to get past the initial awkwardness of spending time with those that are older than you.

What Are the Benefits of Hanging out with Older Adults?

By 2030, 20 percent of Americanswill be 65 years of age or older. Seniors are becoming a bigger part of our society. Here are some of the ways you can get more out of life by developing an intergenerational friendship:

  1. Self-Identity– An older person can help you figure out who you are by giving you a well-rounded understanding of yourself that is aided by decades of experience.
  2. Have Someone to Look up to– You don’t make it to old age without perseverance and living through a hard situation or two. Many seniors are real-life heroes.
  3. Engage in Mature Conversations– Talking to your friends is completely different from interacting with a golden ager. You will find that there is more depth to the conversation.
  4. Feel Like You Belong– Both the elderly and teens tend to feel lonely at times. When you are friends with an older adult, you can help soothe any feelings of loneliness.
  5. Learn a New Skill– Being able to talk to people of different backgrounds is an important life skill. It will serve you well throughout life as you apply for jobs and meet new people.
  6. Accept Mortality– As a teen, it is hard to accept that you may get old someday. Perhaps, you are even afraid of the elderly. Once you spend a few hours with an older adult, you will gain a whole new perspective.

How Can You Develop an Intergenerational Friendship?

If you do not have any older adults in your life, there are plenty of places where you can visit them while lending a helping hand. Perhaps offer to visit an assisted living facility, alternatively, see if you can help the elderly at senior centers, or at the VA. If you don’t know what to do with a golden ager, try asking them about what they are interested in.

Popular activities include gardening, scrapbooking, reading out loud, storytelling, and learning new skills, such as baking, weaving, fishing, using the Internet, or crochet. Both you and your senior friend are sure to learn a lot from each other.

Save The Lost…The Game!

There are lots of fun games out there — but how many of them teach meaningful Christian principles?  Of those that do, how many are cool enough that kids and teens WANT to play them?  The obvious answer: “not many!”

That’s why we created Save the Lost.  It’s similar to classic outdoor games like Hide and Seek, Tag and Capture the Flag — but unlike those games, it’s played with specialty glowing lights.  LED Candles mark important boundaries. Players wear illuminated cross necklaces and flashing red bracelets.  The game’s objective revolves around one beautifully lit orb, called “The Light.”

This is not a “sit around and talk” kind of game.  This is a glow-in-the-dark adventure game, one that’s active, that calls for hiding, searching, running, even sneaking up on people!   It really is FUN — but it also teaches profound Christian principles.

Check out this video of the game in action:

Interested in learning more?

Visit the official website:

http://www.savethelostgame.com/

Or check out it out on Amazon:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LX3WQ6X

5 Alternative Days Out In The City For Young Adults

Meeting up with some old school/uni buddies in the city and need something to do? Cities are full of opportunities for days out. Sightseeing and window shopping are always options – but why not make it a unique experience for everyone by venturing a little off the beaten path? Here are five alternative days out sure to leave a lasting impression.

Escape room

Escape rooms are a fairly new phenomenon. You and a team of people must escape from a room by solving various puzzles, whilst having to do it all within a time limit. They’re a great of rebuilding bonds between old friends by testing teamwork. The first escape room was established in 2006 in Japan, but thousands have since sprung up all over the world.

Go-karting

For those sporty and competitive types, go-karting offers the perfect opportunity and is a popular activity for birthday parties. Indoor go-karting tracks are becoming increasingly more common, companies often converting warehouses. You can race with strangers, or make it a private event for you and your mates if there’s a large group of you. Make sure you book ahead though – some tracks will book up fast.

Live music

Cities are great places to see big bands and famous artists – there will always be someone on tour whilst you’re there. If you and your friends are music fans, why not try meeting up for a gig or concert? For big names you’ll need to book ahead, but for many smaller bands and cosier venues you may able to get last minute tickets. There are many places online for concert tickets of all kinds.

Vintage shopping

Take a break from the big high street brands and give the vintage stores a go. Not only do they have more character, you may find yourself a great deal. Many cities now have known areas for vintage shops. Markets can also be great places to look, and fantastic places to try out street food and absorb the cosmopolitan culture of the city.

Ghost Tour

Cities are full of history, which also makes them hotspots for hauntings. Rather than taking the usual historical tour or visiting the museums, why not learn about the city’s past through its supernatural sightings on a specialised ghost tour. Almost all cities now have organised tours – either by foot or onboard a bus. Some of these are only available on set dates and can book up fast – especially around Halloween – so make sure you grab your tickets in advance.

iMax Theatre

You can go for a cinema trip anywhere. If you’re a filmaholic why not try out your local iMax theatre and get to see what a real big screen look like. Some iMax theatres will show specialist 3D films you can’t find in your average cinema, alongside the big blockbusters. This can be a great trip for a rainy day.

Dear High School Self

Dear High School Self,

Hello, my friend. I see you will be graduating in the spring. You’ve had trials, drama, and success the last few years. I know you still aren’t quite sure where you fit or what part you will play in life, so be patient. It will reveal itself along the way. It has been and will be worth all the effort you have and are making. Sometimes we race across the finish line with fanfare and cheers. Other times we seem to barely survive and crawl across. HOW you finish matters a lot less than THAT YOU FINISH. Keep giving it all you’ve got, and you’ll get somewhere worth being.

I know you have often wondered if you have what it takes to become something more than you are right now, or if there is even anything MORE out there. Trust me, you can do it. I know now that you will never be alone, especially on those long, dark roads you have and will be required to travel.

Treasure the remaining few months of high school. Don’t allow what you don’t have to rob you of what you do have. Attitude and what you choose to dwell on can make a difference. Don’t allow the “can’t do, so don’t try” people to control your life. There are great things out there for you to accomplish, and wonderful people to meet. Keep yourself in the game so you can be on the field when the really interesting stuff happens.

You think you’ve done some cool stuff. You will always remember your experiences in football, swimming, and music fondly. Having such passion and endeavors has kept you on your feet. I know you are planning to swim in college. You will have a great experience. It may not last long, but it will help set a pattern you will follow the rest of your life. Never hesitate to go for your dreams, or try to accomplish really hard things. Strength and learning are more often found in the path and the effort rather than in the end result.

Hold on and continue to develop that growing faith in the divine. It will become a solid foundation during some of the storms that lay ahead, and it will also allow the sun to shine all the brighter each day. He is there for you.

My young friend, I stand at the other end of the path, looking back over 43 years with a measure of envy. I am happy that you have so much in front of you. Life is a wonderful adventure and will take you amazing places. I see clearly the events that separate us and, with some insight, can say that who I have become is due to all the experiences combined. We don’t get to skip over the rough spots, and we shouldn’t want to. It is the good and the bad, the success and the failure, the joy and the sorrow, things lost and things found, that blend together to give our lives depth, color, and meaning. I see more clearly the meaning of your life, and it has been worth it. All of these experiences make it possible for us to become the wonderful and interesting people that God intended. One day you will see to live…truly live, love, and aspire to be something more…is glorious.

What more can I say? Thank you for making me who I am. As a result of all that has happened, I have found joy and meaning. You will too. I believe in you.

Your friend,
Clark

Clark Burbidge is an award-winning YA author, especially known for the trilogies “Giants in the Land” and “Star Passage.” In this letter he writes about what he wishes he could have told his teenage self. Clark talks about being patient because even if you don’t feel like you fit in now, one day you will find your place in the world. He also discusses learning to enjoy the moment and not to not spend your time worrying about the next thing. You can read more about him here: About Author Clark Burbidge

Chit Chatting with Actress Madisyn Shipman

Written by Jill Sheets

Recently I had the honor of interviewing talented actress and singer Madisyn Shipman. This 13-year old from North Carolina plays Kenzie on her new show “Game Shakers.” Read on to learn more about her, her new show, five things people may not know about her, and more.

madisyn shipman

R:  Tell our readers a little bit about yourself and how you got your start in acting.

M: First, I’m an animal, sushi, music, and people lover, in no specific order. I have a big family and I love it (even if I never get any privacy)! I have been acting since I was 6 years old. We moved to NYC and I booked a Broadway show. Being on Nickelodeon was always a childhood dream of mine, and I’m so grateful that I am literally living my dream right now!

 

R:  Tell us about your show “Game Shakers” and about your character Kenzie Bell.

M: “Game Shakers” is about two girls, Babe and Kenzie, who create a game for their science project that is an overnight sensation. They become business partners with Double G (played by Nickelodeon veteran Kel Mitchell) and create a gaming empire. Throughout the episodes we create different games that you guys at home can download from the App Store and play along. I play Kenzie Bell. She is a smart girl who loves to code. She’s the brains behind the operation. I personally feel that Kenzie and I are pretty similar. She’s a little bit of a nerd but hey, so am I! We all have to embrace our inner dork!

 

R:  What was the audition process like and how do you prepare yourself for auditions?

M: I had to jump through several hoops to land the role of Kenzie on Nickelodeon’s “Game Shakers.” It was about a 6-month process, but honestly, it was the best thing that has ever happened to me! To prepare for auditions I study the script and begin developing the character.

 

R:  What is the best thing about “Game Shakers?”

M: The best think about “Game Shakers” is the amazing cast and crew that I get to work with and call family.

 

R:  Tell us about your up-and-coming movie “Geezer” and about your character Salome.

M: Geezer is about the struggle that Perry (Billie Joe), a former punk rocker, encounters. His band has been on a ten year hiatus and he is kind of experiencing a midlife crisis. He believes his wife (Selma) and his daughter (moi!) forgot his birthday. He decides to throw himself a pity party at a fancy NYC hotel and bumps into an old crush while there. I don’t wanna spoil everything for you guys, though. I play Salome. She is a normal girl who loves playing her guitar and is family oriented. The movie comes out in September, so plan to go see it! And you may even see me singing and playing guitar in the movie!

 

R:  What was it like working with such an amazing cast?  Did they give you any advice?

M: The cast of “Geezer” was awesome. Working with Selma and Billie was such a learning experience. They are both insanely talented. I mean, Selma has basically mastered the craft of acting. And it was such an honor to work with Billie. He is literally a living legend. He is so humble and so down-to-earth. He actually taught me a few little tricks on guitar. I have to say he’s someone I will always look up to.

 

R:  You have been on TV shows, movies, theater, and voiceover work.  Which one do you enjoy the most and why?

M: I enjoy all of them equally. I love performing and getting into character in any setting.

 

R:  Tell us about the Niemann-Pick Disease Foundation.  Where can people get more information on the topic and what should they do if they want to help out?

M: The Niemann-Pick Disease Foundation is an organization that promotes and supports cures for Niemann-Pick Disease. I’m very passionate about this organization because my cousin died at 2 years old from Niemann-Pick. It’s a rare disease and we need to raise awareness. Anyone who is interested in learning more about the organization should visit their website at www.nnpdf.org.

 

R:   I read that you sing.  Would you like to make a CD in the future?

M: I do plan to release a CD in the future. I actually recorded a 6 song EP when I was 10 years old. I co-wrote the songs as well. I never did anything with it but it was definitely a fun learning experience.

 

R:  What are some of your future goals?

M: I want to go to college and study neuroscience. I’m obsessed with medical science.

 

R:  What advice would you give teenagers these days?

M: I would say be a leader, not a follower. Don’t feel like you have to dress a certain way, talk a certain way, or do certain things to fit in. A true friend will not pressure you. Always believe in yourself and follow your dreams.

 

R:  Other than this one, what is the strangest question you have been asked?

M: (laughs) Probably on Instagram when random guys comment “will you marry me please?” I mean, hello, I’m 13!

 

R:  What are five things people may not know about you?

M:

  1. I play several instruments. I play guitar, ukulele, keyboard and a little bass.
  2. I have 3 younger brothers. Sawyer is 9 years old, Caden is 6 years old and Jesse is 3 years old.
  3. I love fitness. I’m really into cycling and kick-boxing right now.
  4. I have a bucket list and working with Sandra Bullock is at the top of the list. She is so inspiring on so many levels and is my idol.
  5. I’m scared of heights. So, cliff jumping or bungee jumping is out of the question.

 

R:  Are you on any social networking sites? If so, which ones and what are their addresses? Do you have an official website and/or YouTube page? 

M: I am on social media. My Instagram is maddiemoo_hoo. My Twitter is maddiemoohoo. And my Snapchat is madisynshipman. I’m actually pondering the idea of a YouTube channel so stay tuned, guys!

 

R:  Is there anything else you would like to add or say to your fans?

M: Always remember to be true to yourself. Never change just so people will like you. Your true friends will love you just the way you are!

 

R:  Madisyn, thank you for the interview.  It was an honor.  Have a great day.

 

Written by Jill Sheets

Picture source: Brett Erickson

Chit Chatting with Singer Marlisa

Written by Jill Sheets

@MarlisaMusic

hatsRecently, I had the honor of interviewing up-and-coming singer Marlisa.  Some of you may have recognized her from the sixth season of “The X Factor Australia,” which she won when she was 15. Now, this almost 17-year-old singer is working on new music that will be released soon.  Read on to learn more about her win on “The X Factor,” her new music, and more.

 

R:  Tell our readers a little bit about yourself and how you got into the music business.

M:  I’ve always loved singing, ever since I was little. I knew straight away that I wanted to be a musician when I grew up, so I performed for various events, including charity events, eisteddfod competitions, and festivals. In 2014, I joined “The X Factor” to give myself a chance and was very lucky to win the competition. These events have helped me to gain experience and exposure in regards to the entertainment industry.

 

R:  You are working on some new music. Can you tell us anything about it? Do you have a release date?

M:  I have been on the piano, writing new songs, and creating a new sound for some time now. It’s a process I’m really enjoying and which I’m pushing myself with, so I am very excited about releasing these. I’m hoping to have a new single out by Christmas!

 

R:  Do you have a favorite song so far?

M:  I have so many favorite songs so far. It’s just too difficult to choose one!

 

R:  Where can people hear or get your music?

M:  My music will be available on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, and you can purchase them at JBHIFI and Sanity.

headphones

R:  You were on “The X Factor Australia.” What was that like? Do you remember what you were thinking when you won?

M:  My X Factor experience was very memorable and enjoyable. During that time, I learned so much about the music industry, behind the scenes stuff/how everything works, and most importantly it helped me to gain experience, exposure, and confidence. When I won, I felt very grateful to have been blessed with an achievement that will help me with my future as a musician.

 

R:  You have grown up since being on “The X Factor.” Other than height, how else have you changed?

M:  Yeah, we all grow up. I guess I have changed a lot since being that girl that won “The X Factor.” I’m turning 17 in October, so naturally my interests, fashion, and influences have changed a lot. I’m writing my own songs now, songs that are an extension of me, and I’m trying to be more creative with the sounds I create. I’m experimenting with it all while still being true to myself and keeping the values that I have grown up to believe in.

 

R:  If you could tour with any five people, who would they be?

M:  Ronan, of course, but I would also love to tour with Sia, Adele, Meghan Trainor, and Charlie Puth.

marlisa 3

R:  What has been your best memory so far?

M:  My best memory would be when I got signed up with EMA and worked with Ronan and Storm Keating. And, of course, winning “The X Factor!”

 

R:  Do you have any charities that are close to your heat? If so, tell us about them.

M:  Yes, I support breast cancer charities. They are very close to my heart, having experienced the loss of my own grandmother, who was very dear to me.

 

R:  What are five things people may not know about you?

M:  I like to cook, I like to swim, I’m very sports-minded, I am a manga and anime fan, and I love travelling!

 

R:  It’s not easy being a teenager. What advice do you have for them?

M:  No, it is not easy. Just take your time, enjoy your time as a teenager, remain positive, believe in yourself, and never give up. Life has its ups and downs, and these challenges will only make you stronger as you grow.

 

R:  Other than this one, what is the strangest question you have ever been asked?

M:  I actually haven’t recently been asked any strange questions!

 

R:  Are you on any social networking sites? If so, which ones and what are their addresses? What about an official website and/or YouTube page? Do you have a physical address so people can send fan mail?

M:  I have an official website, www.marlisaofficial.com and I have a Vevo YouTube page which is MarlisaVevo. Fan mail is often sent to the Sony office. My Instagram & Twitter handles are @MarlisaMusic.

marlisa 4

R:  What is it like communicating with your fans? What is the best thing one has ever said or done for you?

M:  It is very inspiring to communicate with fans because knowing that they are supportive and that they enjoy my music makes me happy. The best things fans have done for me are making the effort to draw portraits of me, and continuously supporting me wherever I go.

 

R:  Is there anything else you would like to add or say to your fans?

M:  Yes, a huge thank you for all of your support and patience from Day 1. I am very grateful for all that you’ve done for me. Please stay tuned as there are exciting times ahead!

 

R:  Marlisa, thank you for the interview. It was an honor. Have a great day.

M:  Thank you for having me, it has been a pleasure!

The Dangers of Selfies

by Alison Stone

selfie smWho knew selfies would become such a craze that people would care less about their lives and more about their pictures? Unfortunately, this trend has been growing rapidly and it’s mainly affecting teenagers because they think of it as a competition now and do their best to take better selfies than their peers. Since they take it as a competition, they constantly think about it, and thus end up torturing themselves emotionally. Other than the emotional torture, there are other dangers too.

The word “selfie” has become so common that it was added to the Merriam-Webster dictionary in 2014. Smartphones and digital cameras have made it extremely easy for everyone to take their pictures whenever they want and post them on social media sites almost instantly. You can very well imagine now that selfies are not going anywhere. However, since they pose dangers in many different forms,  you need to know what you should do and shouldn’t do.

Here are some of the dangers that selfies pose:

 

Emotional Dangers of Selfies

Developing an obsession with selfies is very common nowadays. This is actually a problem that leads to mental and emotional stress. When a teen posts a picture on a social media site, such as Facebook, they expect to receive comments with praises. If they receive a positive comment, they feel happy, but if they don’t receive a response or get a negative response, they feel bad or irritated. Hence, they spend hours thinking what was bad about it and what they should do to make people like and comment on their selfies.

As you can see, this type of behavior can lead to mental stress. Plus, this obsession can ruin a teen’s social life as well as education. After all, spending hours trying to get that perfect selfie will make you abandon the real world around you.

 

Physical Dangers of Selfies

Who knew selfies could get people killed?

Yes…People don’t just get hurt; they die as well because of this obsession.

Teens try to perform all sorts of stunts while trying to capture a perfect selfie that can make them look awesome. For example, you will see selfies where a teen is standing near a burning building or a cliff and if they take a wrong step, the outcome can be deadly.

Teens also try to play with dangerous objects and even weapons to look cool. Oscar Aguilar, in Spain shot himself in the head while taking a selfie with a gun pointing to his head. This accident is a lesson for everyone.

Life is more precious than some selfies. Don’t waste it on pictures that can bring more harm than good.

 

Selfies can Ruin Your Reputation

We all know that teens do share some objectionable pictures of themselves with their boyfriends and girlfriends. Since pictures can be shared online with a few clicks, what can a guy do with some objectionable pictures of his girlfriend after getting dumped by her? He can easily share them online and ruin her reputation.

First of all, don’t take selfies that can ruin your honor and reputation.

Secondly, if you do, then at least don’t share them with anyone no matter how trustworthy they are.

 

Conclusion

Selfies can cause frustration, ruin your reputation and even kill you. If you are taking too many selfies every day, then it’s about time you take a step back and overcome this obsession by getting busy with other healthy activities and spending more time with your family.

 

Author Bio: Alison is an author and a writer at Dissertation Cube. She loves to watch Game of Thrones and DC Television series. You can find her on Google+.

The Skin of a Teenager: Common Skin Conditions in Teens and How to Treat Them

acne_teen_skinAs if being a teenager wasn’t stressful enough dealing with various skin conditions can really get the best of you. While this may not make you feel any better, skin conditions and teenagers seem to go hand in hand. So you’re certainly not alone. Whether it’s dealing with acne and excessive sweating or skin tags and freckles, it seems that many teenagers notice a huge change in their skin the moment puberty hits.

The good news is that in many cases, these conditions can be controlled and/or otherwise eliminated. It may take a few trial and errors, but with any luck, you can have clear skin to match your sunny disposition.

Below are some of the most common skin conditions in teens and what you can do to treat them.

Spots or Blemishes

Spots are among the most common skin complaints teenagers have. In fact, almost all teenagers go through a period of spots and blemishes before making it to adulthood. It is reported that teenagers generally experience breakouts, spots, and blemishes during puberty. It is during this time that the hormones are changing which can cause the skin glands to produce an overwhelming amount of oil. The oil then leads to spots and blemishes on the skin.

For females, spots and blemish breakouts may happen frequently around that time of the month. The best way to deal with this skin problem would be to cleanse and moisturize your face at least twice a day to remove any makeup, dirt, or dead cells. If this alone does not work, you can also consider some topical creams to eliminate the appearances of spots.

Acne

Unlike spots and blemishes which appear ever so often, acne is generally an ongoing occurrence. Depending on the severity of your acne, it could also be very distressing and chronic at times. Acne will surface in the form of either whiteheads, blackheads, or spots filled with pus. Again, it is important to note that since you’re going through this change called puberty, your hormones are all over the place which can promote acne breakouts.

If your acne has reached a point of distress or is chronic in nature, it may be beneficial to consider over the counter acne products to remedy the situation. Be warned however that there are a lot of products out there, when choosing one, be sure to review the ingredients to ensure you’re getting a product that is great for your acne. It is highly recommended that you speak with a dermatologist first to find out what products they offer.

Oily Skin

While oily skin generally produces blemishes and acne, there are some teens that have oily skin without the spots and bumps. On some level, medical professionals believe that oily skin is something that is in your genes. Some people simply produce more oil than others. However, it is also important to point out that it could very well be your hormonal changes brought on by puberty.

If oily skin is your problem then the first thing should consider is the use of oil free cosmetics that are also water based. It is also a good idea to invest in facial cleansers that are not harsh on the skin as well as a moisturizer with no oil in it.

Skin Tags

Unlike commonly discussed skin conditions like oily skin or acne, skin tags are not as prevalent but sometimes reported by teens. Skin tags are basically extra pieces of skin. While they can appear anywhere on the body, the most common locations include: the eyelids, underarms, groin, upper chest, and the neck. Common associations or causes for skin tags include: obesity, diabetes, and even pregnancy.

If you’re suffering from skin tags, there are several ways you can go about removing them. There is the less invasive option, which would include purchasing skin tag removal products. However, just as stated above, it is important to do your research to ensure you’re purchasing a quality product.

Other options for removing skin tags includes freezing and cutting them off. These removal options are best carried out by a medical professional to avoid complication.

Eczema

While eczema is a more common in babies and toddlers than teenagers, it is still a possibility that flare ups will happen. Teenagers who experienced eczema as children are at higher risk for seeing periods of flare ups where the skin becomes very red, dry, and scaly. While the condition comes and goes, it can be fairly irritating to deal with.

Treatment for eczema is often very simple. Sometimes the best thing you can do is stick to non-perfume lotions, soaps, and cleansers to avoid irritation. Another solution would be to invest in a heavy duty (thick) moisturizer. If this doesn’t work, it will be important for you to seek medical attention to determine the best course of action.
These are some of the most common teenage skin conditions and remedies on how to improve them. No one ever said that growing older would be easy, but at least you can have fun along the way. By having the understanding of various skin conditions you can adequately treat the problem to prevent it from happening again. Before you go shopping, be sure that you’ve consulted with your dermatologist or primary care physician to ensure the products you choose are best for the overall health of your skin.

Bullied Blogger

ElissaWe interviewed Elissa Menaker, an 18 year old girl with a successful blog called Ask Lyss (www.asklyss.com). She used to be a bully, then she was bullied and now she helps teens who are being bullied, depressed, suicidal or simply need relationship advice or anything in between.

Relate: What inspired you to start your own advice blog?

Elissa: To be completely honest, though I’ve always liked helping people and giving advice, what inspired me to actually start a blog was a Rugrats All Grown Up episode.  It was one of my favorite shows when I was younger and I saw the episode where Angelica had ‘Ask Angelica’ and people would ask for advice.  When I got to high school I had a great bunch of friends who I could tell anything to, but I realized there was (and still is) a lot of teenagers who go through things and feel like they can’t confide in anyone. I opened up a formspring called ‘Advicenow123’ and the questions began pouring in. However, I wasn’t reaching out to enough people. Once the obsession with Formspring died down, the obsession with Tumblr was at its peak so, with the help of a friend who actually knew how to work Tumblr, I turned Advice Now into Ask Lyss. With a Tumblr I began to not only reach out to teens around my area, but began reaching out to teenagers across the world!

R: Tell me a bit about your experiences with bullying…

E: In year 8 I was scouted by Bettina Modelling Agency, the word spread around the school. From then on I was bullied by a few people who thought that I was not good enough to be a model. They made some jokes about me and this spread throughout my year. They thought I looked like a ‘Dugong’ and that nickname seemed to stick. Thinking back on it now, I think that ‘nickname’ is hilarious but as a young teenager, I definitely did not find it amusing. I would say the majority of my year were either picking on me or talking badly about me behind my back. I began to hate my looks for the first time in my life. I felt attacked and inedequate. To take my mind off my own insecurities, I retaliated. When someone would call me something I didn’t like, I picked on them back. I thought if they called me something, that meant it wasn’t as bad if I said something hurtful back. I didn’t realise that I should’ve just ignored them and not let them get to me. I pretty much loved to fight fire with fire and definitely got burnt. There are still some girls who consider me a bad person for the words I called them 4 years ago, and I don’t blame them because once you say something, it may affect that person for the rest of their lives. But, as weird as it sounds I am very glad this happened because my haters broke me down so much that I had to search for my beauty and confidence and when I found it, I came back with more self-esteem then I’ve ever had. I attribute my self-esteem to being bullied and attribute my empathy and compassion to realising that being a bully is just a reflection of how you feel about yourself.

R: Did you have anyone to turn to?

E: Yes, though I didn’t realize it at the time.  My parents and family have always been behind me 100%. My parents especially had great advice for how to deal with being bullied, but I didn’t listen to them and let the hate get to me. I also had a great group of friends who always remained loyal and supportive, but instead of focusing on these people, I focused on the people who picked on me and channeled all my energy into trying to out-bully them!

R: What do you hope to achieve with your blog?

E: I hope to use my blog as a world-wide symbol for a place where teenagers can get advice. I want teenagers to know that I am here for them and whether they have a small issue, a big issue or just want to talk, I am here to listen. I also hope that I can boost the self-esteem of many teenagers because I feel like I’m a living example of how low-self esteem results in the person becoming a bully, or becoming severely affected if they are the target of bullies. I hope that people who visit my blog really feel like there’s someone who genuinely cares and wants to listen to them.  In the future, I hope my blog becomes a way for teenagers to release their emotions instead of self-harming, suicide or other drastic measures. Now that I’ve placed a ‘Country Tracker’ on my blog I have realised that many of my hits are also coming from overseas countries which is a sign that my website has gone from just reaching acquaintances, to followers across the globe, and I hope this expansion continues.

R: What has been everyones response to your blog?

E: Overwhelmingly positive. My friends and family are extremely proud of me and my visitors always leave me positive feedback. I’ve gotten pieces of hate mail on there but, since I tracked the source of the message, I found out it was only someone I went to school with who was just trying to make me look bad. It doesn’t affect me because the people who send me heartfelt thank-yous and supportive messages remind me of the reason I do what I do.

R: What are your aspirations for the future?

E: Right now I’m in the middle of my HSC so first and foremost, my goal is to get into university and complete a psychology degree. My aspirations include gelling my love for presenting and my love for giving advice into one by possibly creating a television show. I have a few television producers wishing to meet with me so hopefully that leads to something. When I think about my aspirations, it sounds a lot like Dr Phil’s life. I want to have my own television show, I want to be known for being a psychologist, I want to study many different forms of psychology, I want to touch and help thousands of people’s lives and I want to be an inspiration. So I guess you could say my aspiration is to be the female Dr Phil of my generation.